It was great to watch such a free-flowing and open game of rugby at Twickenham yesterday (16th November 2019). The referee Tom Foley rarely had to stop the game, and when he did both teams chose to kick for touch and further possession when they were awarded penalties, which added to the entertainment. Having been behind 17-33, the Barbarians fought back to within two points at the end, making it a very exciting finish. The handling was impressive, and despite the cold the crowd of 51,213 left invigorated by a most enjoyable afternoon! I hope that the pictures below capture something of the entertainment and excitement.
For match reports see:
Am I the only one who is utterly fed up with the way in which blatant feeding in the scrum is not penalised by referees? Being in Edinburgh yesterday, I couldn’t resist watching part of the match between Scotland and New Zealand (more entertaining than wading through draft PhD theses!), and time and again Cowan was putting the ball in almost behind his hooker’s feet!
Law 20.6 (d) states that “The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line, so that it first touches the ground immediately beyond the width of the nearer prop’s shoulders”.
In effect, feeding the ball to your own hooker – or indeed second row – means that there is little skill left in hooking, and very little real competition in the scrum. I remember years ago as a scrum half, trying my best to keep the ball straight – and being penalised by referees whenever it went slightly astray. If referees are no longer going to penalise feeding, then there seems little real point in having scrums at all, and one might as well just give the ball to the scrum half of the side to which the scrum is awarded!